Fresh, citrusy ceviche, savory lamb barbacoa, and sizzling fajitas served in the skillet—these are just a few of the specialties at Bucanas Mexican Restaurant. Diners can share platters of oysters on the half shell or opt for a signature dish such as the Molcajete—a fiery medley of steak, shrimp, chicken, and chorizo cooked with cheese and cactus. Frosty margaritas and pints of draft beer complete the dining experience.
The cheerful family that birthed Guacamaya's prides itself on flavorful south-of-the-border fare that comes cooked to order. A favorite is the gargantuan El Zarape platter ($9.95), which sports a savory heap of broiled fajita meat, onions, and bell peppers draped with melted white cheese, rice, charro beans, and corn or flour tortillas. The tilapia fish tacos ($9.95) please the sea-slanted, and patrons harried by rigid taco and burrito algorithms may wish to try the pupusas ($7.99 for three), plump pancakes stuffed with a tasty cheese or pork center and served with smoky charro beans and any of the warm, zesty homemade salsas. Guacamaya’s gastronomic engineers prepare each item with tender care, and if they have the ingredients, they’ll whip up any plate your customizable heart desires. Thanks to a BYOB policy, you’re spared both the expense of drinks and the worry about a menu lacking bottled armadillo tears.
El Porton Mexican Restaurant has sated cravings for fresh, healthy ingredients for more than two decades, serving up authentic Mexican lunches and dinners that complement the bar’s array of 85 tequilas. Amid golden walls that evoke a warm afternoon in a tropical cantina, guests kick-start stomachs by watching chefs craft lime-infused guacamole tableside. From the kitchen, beef and shrimp fajitas sizzle, wafting aromas of onion and bell pepper that transform into cartoon hands to lure in noses. Warm days open El Porton's patio, where sunshine heightens the flavors of make-your-own combo platters spread with chile rellenos, tostadas, and burritos, as well as USDA steaks aged a minimum of 21 days. Tequila shots arrive in flights or individually, and customizable margaritas in flavors such as mango and classic lime pour forth from salt-rimmed glasses to accentuate entrees and fuel conversations about Mexico's hidden agave rivers.
Mexican cuisine’s signature spices help create the first spark on a blind date or the spicy excitement of a night out with friends. Cozy up to someone as intense as cumin-coated chiles within the courtyard-like interior of Abuelo’s, where column-flanked archways divide seating sections into intimate nooks, with private booths tucked away in the glow of wall sconces. Lean back and twirl an imaginary conquistador 'stache while perusing the battle plans, which bear a suspicious resemblance to the menu. A wide variety of enchiladas ($8.99–$10.99) and fajitas ($9.99–$14.99) are available for savory grasping. Properly begin your delicious journey with a mountain of layered dip ($6.49), a stratified feast of chile con queso, roasted chiles, guacamole, refried beans, seasoned ground beef, sour cream, and diced tomatoes. To balance the indulgent dip with a fresh, light lunch that doesn’t skimp on taste-bud stimulation, try the tilapia Veracruz ($9.49), sautéed with shrimp, scallops, tomatoes, roasted poblanos, and olives. Dessert will cleanse spice-saturated palates with traditional sweets such as flan ($4.99) and margarita pie with tequila sauce ($5.49).